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Validity of "orbs"


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#1    kmt_sesh

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:52 PM

Greetings, all.

I occasionally visit the Ghosts, Hauntings & Paranormal forum but very rarely post here. If any of you are familiar with me, you'll know me from the Ancient Mysteries & Alternative History forum. That's where I spend nearly all of my time at UM.

As conventional and orthodox as I tend to be when analyzing things, certain aspects of the paranormal interest me. My own family has had experiences with hauntings, although I myself have had no personal experiences as of yet. I enjoy many of the "ghost" programs on television, including Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, and The Dead Files. I'm quite aware of the reputations of these programs and how dubious they can be, but I watch them merely for entertainment. I suppose it's the "grownup" version for me of the fun we had as kids freaking each other out with ghost stories.

Seeing as how rarely I post in this forum, I wanted to bring a question to those of you who spend a lot of time here and take this stuff seriously. I should state flat out that while I do believe in the possibility of ghosts, I am by nature an extremely skeptical person and it takes a hell of a lot to convince me of a real haunting. For instance, as entertaining as Zak and his pals are on Ghost Adventures, very rarely in my opinion to they present anything of real probative value in the way of authenticating the paranormal. Those guys seem ready to accept anything and everything as "proof" of ghosts. I like watching them, and some of the locations they investigate are interesting, but Zak and his team are not exactly credible investigators.

My specific question is about orbs. Hauntings have been a kind of sideline interest of mine my entire adult life, and while the bulk of my personal library is on the archaeology and linguistics of ancient Near Eastern civilizations, I also have acquired quite a few books on paranormal investigations.

That said, in all of my life, be it from examining photos in books or watching some of the above-mentioned TV programs or YouTube videos, or even discussions in this very forum, I have never once--not even a single time--been convinced that an "orb" is proof of a spirit or ghost or anything else paranormal. I have been singularly unimpressed by every example of orbs I've ever seen.

So, am I alone in this? I know how skeptical I am by nature, but it sure seems to me that lots of people jump at every bright spot in photos or on video footage as ghost-orbs. LOL Look at Zak and his Ghost Adventures crew: I don't think they've ever met an orb that they didn't classify as paranormal.

I'd welcome feedback. I'm not here to flame or disrespect anyone, I assure you. I just want other people's opinions. It's been a bit dull lately in the Alternative History forum so I thought I'd pop in here and give it a go.

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#2    kmt_sesh

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:59 PM

I forgot to add something that really should've been in my OP. Every example of an orb I've ever seen can be explained, in my opinion, through the optics of photography--be it old-fashioned film, digital stills, or video. I have a certain amount of formal training in photography, up to and including working in dark rooms, but I admit I am hardly a professional photographer. Just a hobbyist. So this is also where I'm coming from.

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#3    Spectre1979

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:09 PM

To me orbs are dust particles, nothing else.

I am a skeptic at heart and require firm proof of things to believe them.

I have had several experiences/sightings with things I call ghosts, cause I have no other word for them. I don't believe they are spirits of the dead though. But now I am off topic, so no orbs to me are dust.

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#4    acute

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:30 PM

Real orbs don't move like dust.

Orbs are the first stage of a manifestation. Spirits take energy from the environment around them, and use it to show themselves either as light or heat. Your batteries may go flat, your lamps may dim, or you may feel a chill. The temperature of the room can significantly drop.

The next stage up from orbs is a kind-of veil about the size of a hand. Then, there is every stage up to an opaque full-body apparition.

Edited by acute alan, 26 January 2012 - 10:38 PM.


#5    kmt_sesh

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:55 PM

View PostSpectre1979, on 26 January 2012 - 10:09 PM, said:

To me orbs are dust particles, nothing else.

I am a skeptic at heart and require firm proof of things to believe them.

I have had several experiences/sightings with things I call ghosts, cause I have no other word for them. I don't believe they are spirits of the dead though. But now I am off topic, so no orbs to me are dust.

You and I are largely of like minds, then, Spectre1979. The only difference is I believe in the possibility that ghosts are the remnants of deceased people. Some energy left behind, whatever it might be. Some ghosts might reply intelligently, meaning they can interact, while others might be nothing more than an energy left behind to replay a certain event, like a bit of film caught in a loop.

But at the same time I admit that as interesting as the entire subject of ghosts and hauntings is, nothing scientifically proves their reality. Even what I wrote above about the nature of hauntings, is speculation in the end.

View Postacute alan, on 26 January 2012 - 10:30 PM, said:

Real orbs don't move like dust.

Orbs are the first stage of a manifestation. Spirits take energy from the environment around them, and use it to show themselves either as light or heat. Your batteries may go flat, your lamps may dim, or you may feel a chill. The temperature of the room can significantly drop.

The next stage up from orbs is a kind-of veil about the size of a hand. Then, there is every stage up to an opaque full-body apparition.

This goes to what I just wrote above. You believe, acute alan, that orbs represent an early stage in the manifestation of spirit energy. Still, there is no empirical evidence of any kind to prove this. If there are indeed stages of development through which a spirit passes through time, there is no possible way to prove it. At the present science has not advanced to the point where any such thing can be proved, and it's possible science never will.

So, in the end, any and all such statements are speculation. Opinion. I am not saying this to be disrespectful, only to clarify a point. It is what it is. That doesn't make it any less enjoyable to discuss, in my opinion.

I should add that as far as my own belief on the subject of the paranormal goes, one of the best forms of evidence is EVPs. Are EVPs definitive proof? No, of course not, but they're compelling.

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#6    acute

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:11 PM

You are absolutely correct. If science had caught up by now, ghosts would not be classed as 'paranormal'!
(Remember that electricity and magnetism were once the 'work of the devil'!)


You are right in the post above about the 2 types of haunting. I have personally and irrefutably experienced both.
(For anybody else viewing this thread....)

Type 1 is a Residual Haunting. It is like a replay of an old video. It has no intelligence, it is not aware of you, and you can't interact with it.

Type 2 has many names, but I call it an Active Haunting. It is intelligent, is aware of your presence, and you can interact with it, and (in some cases) identify who it is.





#7    kmt_sesh

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:56 PM

View Postacute alan, on 26 January 2012 - 11:11 PM, said:

You are absolutely correct. If science had caught up by now, ghosts would not be classed as 'paranormal'!
(Remember that electricity and magnetism were once the 'work of the devil'!)

...

LOL So true! We would be beyond the realm of the paranormal, then.

It's quite possible I'm too much of a skeptic to be a good poster in the Paranormal forum. It stems from my own research background: I have to see real evidence, properly vetted, reviewed, and verified, for me to be convinced. This is mainly to do with my interests in the ancient Near East and especially pharaonic Egypt, which is why I spend almost all of my time in the Alternative History forum. But it probably affects my ability to evaluate hauntings, too. I'm a curmudgeon.

I've always wished I could have a paranormal experience. I have no idea how I might react, but I'm willing to give it a try. There are probably more than a few paranormal groups here in Chicago with which I could hook up, but I really don't have the time.

I work as a docent in the Egyptian galleries of two Chicago museums. I've always been tempted to leave a voice-activitated digital recorder in one of the exhibits overnight, just to see what it might "pick up." Most likely, however, a night guard would probably find it and throw it away. I've been in the exhibits many times after hours, late at night, and it's always very peaceful in there. To date, all of the mummies have been very quiet. :w00t:

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#8    acute

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:23 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 26 January 2012 - 11:56 PM, said:

I work as a docent in the Egyptian galleries of two Chicago museums. I've always been tempted to leave a voice-activitated digital recorder in one of the exhibits overnight, just to see what it might "pick up."
A snoring security guard, probably. :lol:


#9    vegalyrae

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:01 AM

my opinion on orbs.....as big into photography as I am.... to me....99% of these so called orbs I see out there are nothing more than light reflecting off of an object, be it dust, snow, rain, spiderwebs, nails, mica in a granite headstone,  or even flying bugs.  This is why orbs are caught when the flash is on.    Now I have seen a few photos in which the object itself seems to produce it's own light, however in these pictures, the said light that is emitting from the object never casts a shadow or glow on nearby objects, nor is it visible at the time of the picture being taken, by the naked eye, yet in the photo it's extremely bright.  This leads me to believe that again, it is just the flash reflecting off of an object.  

Now, is the object it's reflecting off of a ghost??  proof cannot be provided that it was or wasn't.  For this reason, I don't count orbs as evidence of the paranormal.  In my opinion, in order to make a positive claim,  positive evidence for the specific claim must be presented. The absence of another explanation only means that we do not know.  If there is a highly logical explanation then to me it is not of paranormal nature.  If however it defies logic altogether, then yes....it's *possible* that it was paranormal.


#10    Spectre1979

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:56 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 26 January 2012 - 10:55 PM, said:

You and I are largely of like minds, then, Spectre1979. The only difference is I believe in the possibility that ghosts are the remnants of deceased people. Some energy left behind, whatever it might be. Some ghosts might reply intelligently, meaning they can interact, while others might be nothing more than an energy left behind to replay a certain event, like a bit of film caught in a loop.

Well I do believe that it could be energy left behind, like an imprint of time, esp when some moment of either great or terrible moment of stress or joy has occurred. I don't entirely rule out the idea of them being spirits, it's just not my top theory. Mainly because in my experiences (and my wifes) they have never replied or even seemed to know or acknowledge that I was there... perhaps they were just rude ghosts? lol

I also believe we could be seeing into another time or another dimension somehow but then those are getting even more absurd (for my brain anyway.

Also the ancient mysteries/histories are my fav on here too.

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#11    Rafterman

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:54 PM

View Postacute alan, on 26 January 2012 - 10:30 PM, said:

Real orbs don't move like dust.

Orbs are the first stage of a manifestation. Spirits take energy from the environment around them, and use it to show themselves either as light or heat. Your batteries may go flat, your lamps may dim, or you may feel a chill. The temperature of the room can significantly drop.

The next stage up from orbs is a kind-of veil about the size of a hand. Then, there is every stage up to an opaque full-body apparition.

Funny how there's never any photographic evidence of anything but the first stage.

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#12    Oppono Astos

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:14 PM

"Orbs" - as they have become known in paranormaldom - are nothing more than image artefacts, particulates illuminated by the camera; this is empirically demonstrated/proven again and again and again.  The Believers' argument relies on blind faith, not evidence.

Who is the skeptic: the realist who won't accept belief, or the believer who won't accept reality?

#13    acute

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:59 PM

View PostRafterman, on 27 January 2012 - 05:54 PM, said:

Funny how there's never any photographic evidence of anything but the first stage.

The next stage (what I call the veil, but I'm sure there must be a proper name for it) can be seen at 4:51+.




Edited by acute alan, 27 January 2012 - 09:24 PM.


#14    Beany

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 12:57 AM

I've seen all kinds of orbs & light phenomena over the past 15 years. There's no evidence that they're paranormal, but there's also no rational explanation for them either. I've seen them indoors, outdoors, at night and during the day. I've seen them during a couple of native american ceremonies I participated in, as well. I don't know what they are, but they are kind of entrancing, really, and not at all scary. And they weren't followed by any paranormal activity.


#15    RaptorBites

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 02:58 AM

View PostOppono Astos, on 27 January 2012 - 07:14 PM, said:

"Orbs" - as they have become known in paranormaldom - are nothing more than image artefacts, particulates illuminated by the camera; this is empirically demonstrated/proven again and again and again.  The Believers' argument relies on blind faith, not evidence.

Quoted for Truth.

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